Monday, October 15, 2012

Turkinator 3: The resurrection

We have the technology. We can rebuild it.

I'm using as many of the old parts as possible to retain the spirit of the turkinator. Also in keeping with the spirit of the event, no metric parts are being used. There is still a bit to do - still need to attach the lid, make the air vents, attach the handles and the chains.

Friday, March 23, 2012


I think I surely must have told this story to every single person I've ever met, and yet digging around in the For Battle archives I can't see any evidence that I've ever actually scanned the photo in and shared it; shame on me. Alas its in an old picture from back in the dark ages, when dinosaurs roamed the earth on 1200 baud modems and people thought the world would end in 2000 for some arbitrary calendrical reason, not 2012 like any sensible person nowadays. Its called a "photo" apparently, and no matter how many times I put it in the DVD drive it still won't read. (And it turns out Jesus isn't above sabotaging the oldsters' computer to keep embarrassing photos from coming out on his 21st - century. I've just spent the last hour trying to make the damned (sic) scanner work).

Anyways, Coz' and my favorite favorite thing of all the amazing things at the British Museum was this set of mosaics from back before the sanitised authorised biography of Jesus outsold the previous umpty-eleven tell-all versions. I don't remember where or when it was from, though there should be another of those photo things around here somewhere with the details.

The text beneath, for those of you inexplicably having trouble reading this lousy scan of a lousy photo which hung on our wall for a decade collecting dust, (and taking into account that I can barely read the damn thing myself) reads:

"Jesus plays by the side of the river. Jesus making pools, a boy destroys one with a stick and falls dead."

"The Virgin admonishes Jesus, who restores the boy to life by touching him with his foot." (ed: read, "sulkily kicking him in the arse...")

(Something about Jesus striking a teacher dead to avoid having to explain why he didn't do his homework.)

I wish I could find the one where Jesus - having established a bit of a rep in the whole striking-people-dead department - goes round to play with a neighborhood kid. The kid's mom sees J and hides her kid in the oven, but J being omniscient knows this and turns the kid into a baked ham.

Anyone who has ever been or known a child knows that an omnipotent Jesus was a serious pain in the arse when he was a kid.

Edit: They're called the Tring Tiles, apparently.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Welcome to ForBattle v.2.98

Hopefully comments will appear to everyone no matter how gibbous *such* a good word the moon is and no-one hates the template too much.
No, I have no idea why only comments from 2005 and today appear. Mystery!

Yes yes, all the side-bar links have gone.
If you want any of them back or have any suggestions for new ones, add them in (or let me know and I can)

If you want something changed, go forth and do it!

If you hate it all and want it to go back to the way it was (maybe you were one of the chosen people who the comments would show themselves to), invent a time machine.

Okay, just do that last thing anyway, because it would be cool.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Okay, the weird comments widget we have is annoying me. Comments seem to go missing or only appear if you dance 3 times widdershins wearing a gold blanket under a gibbous moon.
So, anyone have any objections to me changing the blog template and getting rid of the comments thingy.
I guess we will lose all the old comments but we may then be able to see any new ones.


Friday, March 09, 2012

Vale Muscat

aka Mucky, Muc Muc, Musket, Miss Woodles
(25/10/93? - 9/3/12)
Shoulder cat of great affection

Muscat was a found cat. MissFliss' sister brought her home from the vet where she worked and we were a good home recently left catless when Kestrel was hit by a car. We were made for each other. We weren't sure how old she was so we decided that St Crispin's Day was close enough and a good date to remember.

Muscat was tiny but from an early age loved to ride on shoulders. In fact, she couldn't be held any other way. It you picked her up she needed to go straight over the shoulder or she would claw her way there.

When she was one year old she nearly died when she was hit by a car. She spend two weeks at the vet recovering. Her jaw was dislocated and she lost most of her teeth. Her skull was cracked and she most certainly suffered brain damage. Initially the vet didn't know if she would survive. I guess if they recommended putting her down at that point I would have agreed. But no one suggested it and Muscat made a good recovery.

She was very affectionate. She particularly loved tall people and would beg to be picked up by Stig or Rufus. At Strathfield, the house had a shelf built above the picture rails and Stig would routinely throw her up there where she would happily prowl around the room. She also loved boxes (as many cats do) and she loved to sleep in the washing basket. Often I would throw a piece of clothing in to be greeted with an unamused 'mrow!'.

She constantly had teeth trouble following the accident. Every few years she would need a teeth clean and have a few more removed. She was down to her last 4 teeth. She also had a clouded eye for most of her life where the kitten Fronti scratched her during play.

She always looked a little cranky because of the markings on her face. Perhaps she was a little cranky too as tortoiseshell are said to be. If she wasn't sick she would fight the vet. She was determined. If the child was annoying her she would stand her ground rather than retreat to safety. Very feisty.

Eighteen years is a huge amount of time to share with an animal. She is the longest serving pet I've ever had. I don't expect I'll have another relationship like it.

She was affectionate and warm and cuddly on her terms and cranky and sharp when she wasn't in the mood. I will miss her.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wire Brush and Dettol for my Brain

Coz suggested I post something about this; possibly because my guilty conscience makes me talk about it too much, and she's hoping I'll get it off my chest and shut up. Anyways; American politics ahoy! Run now while you still can!

I voted for Newt Gingrich the other day.

There. I said it. It makes me feel soiled to admit it, but its true.

You see, the reason you Aussies are already hearing about the American presidential election, is that the parties here don't pick a new leader by staging a back-room rebellion a la Gillard (and/or Rudd?) Instead we have primaries, where only the people registered for a given party get to vote*, and they vote for who they want their presidential candidate to be in the main election. I was registered Democrat, so in the primaries I got to choose whether to vote for Obama or... not. Everyone knows the Democrat in November's election is going to be Obama, so no one else serious is even bothering to run. Well thats a bit dull, isn't it?

So with a grimace of distaste, I re-registered as a Republican, so I can help choose who the Republican candidate in the next election will be. The trick is to find the candidate least likely to beat Obama - who I will actually vote for in November - but who is still a credible contender for the Republican nomination, so I'm not throwing my vote away. That last bit is kind of hard, because the only thing Republicans have managed to consistently agree on for two weeks running out of the last 6 months has been that they don't want Romney, and Romney is the Republican who - until recently, at least - has shown as the most likely Republican to beat Obama. RealClearPolitics has been handy for this - that page collects all the polls from the last month or so, comparing each candidate as if they were running one-on-one against Obama, and this one shows whos likely to win the Republican nomination this week. Gingriches chances at the nomination are currently low compared to Santorum, but some of the meta-analysis out there shows that the Brown Sticky One is artificially inflated at the moment by his recent - and only - victories, and Gingrich might well come back. Honestly, I've done more research on these nutjobs than I have on almost any candidate I've actually cared about in years.

  • jerk - vs each other - vs Obama
  • Santorum - 33.7 - Obama +6.4
  • Romney - 28.4 - Obama +5.7
  • Gingrich - 14.4 - Obama +13.7
  • Paul - 12.3 - Obama +8.3

Of the folks still in it, Paul has no chance of actually winning the nomination, Santorum polls too well against Obama, so Gingrich it is. (Plus Santorum's a disturbing freakweasel, instead of just a power-mad self-centered megalomaniac like Gingrich, so I couldn't bear the idea of voting for him even out of sabotage...)

And that is how I came to cast a vote for Newt Gingrich (in advance, by mail) in next week's primary. Once we get past the primary, I can re-register Democrat, and shower extensively. Thank you for your patience; I now return you to your regularly scheduled Labour infighting...

*Except where it doesn't work that way, because there are actually entirely different rules for every one of the 50 states. But thats the gist of it, most places.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Movie formulas for profit

a.k.a. a recipe for movie-making success!

So it turns out that there are some interesting factors that make for a successful movie. Strangely, things like dinosaurs really don't help movies do well. Oddly enough, having a piano seems to be a boon. How do I know these odd factiods? They are backed up by science! Well, some amusing maths done for a competition lead to these and many more startling discoveries. The data was taken based on the last 5 years worth of US movie releases.

The full story complete with all of the ingredients to add is at

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It Occurs to Me...

A thing occurred to me on the ride home, in what I'm certain is not an original thought. If Republicans:
1) Believe that corporations have the same rights as people, and
2) Believe that embryos have a right to life, and
3) Are consistent
Then declaring bankruptcy in a start-up should be against the law.

Fortunately (for them) I'm not too worried about #3 turning out to be true. So that's all right then.